Phillies Reportedly in on Marlins 2B Gordon, “Heating Up” on Yelich
The Phillies are expected to be active around the upcoming MLB Trade Deadline. The Phillies have in the past been linked to Miami Marlins players Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. But another name has entered the mix for the Phillies: second baseman Dee Gordon.
The Phillies have a second base prospect in the system and a very good second baseman in Cesar Hernandez. Could there be a blockbuster brewing involving Yelich?
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe followed up earlier reports of the Phillies' interest in Yelich with another tidbit: the pursuit for Yelich is "heating up":
A few weeks back we wrote about the resources the Phillies have to be active in trades or free agency. We mentioned the possibility of them taking on Giancarlo Stanton’s contract while also having interest in Christian Yelich. Well, the Yelich part is heating up. There are conflicting stories on whether the Marlins have the OK to trade away major talent as the franchise is being sold, but it looks like the Phillies will pursue this.
One reason that Gordon could be involved is money.
There was talk that the Phillies could take back reliever Junichi Tazawa from the Marlins, along with this $7 million for 2018. Tazawa has been a mediocre pitcher in the Marlins bullpen and is a salary that the club likely would love to lose. There may be similar sentiments toward Gordon as well.
Gordon signed a five-year, $50 million contract with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. Just over three months later, Gordon was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Gordon said that he did not "knowingly" take the substance. The extension includes $37 million due after the 2017 season, which could rise to $51 million should an option vest for the 2021 season.
While Gordon has not duplicated his 2015 season since, when he batted .333 and won a batting title, Gordon is batting .290 for the Marlins in 2017 with 32 stolen bases thus far. As far as "bad" contracts go, chances are the Phillies would be getting a capable player back. This is not a terrible addition should the Phillies be also getting Yelich to go along with him.
That probably means that the low-paid Cesar Hernandez heads to Miami in the deal. Hernandez is earning just $2.55 million in 2017 and has three seasons remaining of team control after 2017. The Marlins would be getting a nice player in return to play second base for the club and the Phillies would be giving up a productive second baseman, while getting one right back in return, thanks to eating money.
Gordon is the son of former Phillies closer Tom Gordon.